Genre: Contemporary

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Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 stars

April 28, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 starsGlimmer by Beth Kery
Published by Penguin on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Because You Are Mine, a scorching new novel about forbidden desire…

After graduating from her M.B.A. program, Alice Reed is surprised when she’s recruited for the management training experience at legendary Camp Durand, owned by Durand Inc.’s young, billionaire CEO, Dylan Fall. The company usually recruits from Ivy League schools, not insignificant colleges like Alice’s.

Alice enthusiastically accepts, but she still wonders why Dylan would choose a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for the prestigious program. But after a passionate encounter one night, she discovers exactly why—Dylan wants her, and Alice can hardly resist his fierce sexual appetites, though she is amazed that she could appeal to an experienced, sophisticated man like Dylan.

As Dylan introduces her to thrilling, erotic territory, Alice discovers a delicious new part of herself. Night after night, she steals away to find ecstasy and escape in Dylan’s arms. But behind her lover’s powerfully magnetic facade, Alice senses darkness, secrets from Dylan’s past lurking in his beautiful, lonely mansion—secrets that are starting to haunt Alice. And the ghosts of the truth might tear Dylan and Alice apart forever . . .

This was an interesting story about two people from different places in their lives finding one another.  Well… sort of… in some respects they are this but there is more to this story that I won’t give away.  I found the pairing to be honestly compelling in some ways as we have the fact that he is the CEO of a company that she wouldn’t mind working for but we also have her relative innocence in sexual matters and his experience.  I found the sex scenes to be well done and very inspiring… *evil grin*

Dylan is a very guarded man and is relatively private.  Most people don’t know much about his background or past but he is incredibly driven to be everything that he needs to be in order to keep the company he runs at the top of their game.  I liked seeing him push our heroine out of her shell but when we find out what he’s kept hidden I found him to be irresistible.  He’s got a past that we see before the biggest secret comes out but honestly his beginnings just make him more open to the need for charity and the good the camp does for kids.

Alice….  she’s a hard one to like in some respects.  She’s guarded and more likely to snip at you than to work with you.  Please note that once you find out how she was raised you will understand it.  I enjoyed seeing her struggle with the fact that she has an opportunity most would kill to have but she feels like she doesn’t truly belong.  She also has a sense of failure or inadequacy when she is confronted with the fact she has to help these kids.  I liked her spunk but mainly I appreciated how honest she was about her fears.  She’s very attracted to Dylan and is shocked when she finds that he is just as attracted to her.  She’s also not afraid of the games he wants to play and starts to come in to her own as the story progresses.  Her reaction to the big secret is realistic and I look forward to reading more.

Now…  when I can I get my hands on Glow…  hmmmmmmmmm

four-stars

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Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 stars

April 25, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 starsShoulda Been a Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Published by HQN Books on 2015-03-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 111
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

In this sexy, sweet prequel novella to her new series, USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates welcomes readers to the charming small town of Copper Ridge, Oregon, where it's never too late for second chances.There's not much about his teenage years that Jake Caldwell can be proud of. Except maybe for keeping his hands off cute, kindhearted Cassie Ventimiglia. She was the only one who saw him as more than a tattooed rebel who couldn't wait to leave the ranching life behind. Now he's back in Copper Ridge to sell his father's property—and staying right above Cassie's coffee shop. And out of nowhere, the girl he's never forgotten is offering a whole lot more than fresh-baked muffins…Jake's dark, smoldering appeal hasn't changed one bit. But Cassie has. Following everyone else's rules didn't quite work out. Time to ask for what she's always wanted…and what Jake's more than happy to give: a wild, hot romance that could make a one-time bad boy realize he's back for good.Don't miss Part Time Cowboy, the first in the Copper Ridge series, from HQN Books!www.MaiseyYates.com

Nice quick read from Maisey Yates with a not really a bad guy falling for a not really a good girl.  Well…  they both have their moments but ultimately they are true human beings with wants and needs that don’t fall fully in either camp.

Cassie has always been the good girl.  She has always followed the path of least resistance only ever trying to be something that would be worth all the sacrifices her mother made.  She only ever tried for something (sort of) once and that ended up with the boy she felt everything for leaving after she even expressed an interest.  She’s now divorced, living in a rented apartment and starting her own coffee shop.  She still is in a rut trying to be the good, dependable Cassie everyone expects but the arrival of her high-school crush causes her to do something unexpected.  She tries for what she wants and needs rather than be the person they all expect.  I adored seeing her take this chance and felt for her as she struggles with not knowing what it will bring.

Jake isn’t the bad guy people made him out to be.  Did he steal? Yes… Did he do other things that weren’t good? Yes… but when you see what was actually driving him you understood it.  He has been drawn to Cassie from shortly after they met but knew he wasn’t good for her.  He left because of something else and now is in town only to clean up his father’s holdings so he can head back to Seattle to take hold of what he thinks he needs.  As he spends time in Copper Ridge he struggles with not only his feelings for Cassie but his past and what drove him to where he is now.  I enjoyed his struggle and was happy when we finally get to see the man behind the mask.  He’s a good guy who just needed someone to truly see him.

Overall a nice start to a series and I will have to read more….

three-stars

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Silver Bastard – Joanna Wylde – 3.5 stars

April 7, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 1

I received this book for free from . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Silver Bastard – Joanna Wylde – 3.5 starsSilver Bastard by Joanna Wylde
Published by Penguin on 2015-04-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
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three-half-stars

First in the new Silver Valley series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reapers Motorcycle Club Novels

Fourteen months. For fourteen months, Puck Redhouse sat in a cell and kept his mouth shut, protecting the Silver Bastards MC from their enemies. Then he was free and it was time for his reward--full membership in the club, along with a party to celebrate. That's when he saw Becca Jones for the first time and set everything in motion. Before the night ended he'd violated his parole and stolen her away from everything she knew.

Five years. It was five years ago that Puck destroyed Becca and saved her all in one night. She's been terrified of him ever since, but she's even more terrified of the monsters he still protects her from... But Becca refuses to let fear control her. She's living her life and moving forward, until she gets a phone call from the past she can't ignore. She has to go back, and there's only one man she can trust to go with her--the ex-con biker who rescued her once before.

Puck will help her again, but this time it'll be on his terms. No more lies, no more tears, and no more holding back what he really wants...

This is my first time reading anything by Joanna Wylde and I must say I do need to go back and read more.  I enjoyed this story but did find myself struggling at times with the pace and the heroine.

Becca didn’t have the most ideal childhood and the way she meets our hero is not exactly the way one would want to meet anyone.  She’s rescued from her mess of a mother and excuse of a stepfather by a man who is freshly out of prison.  She’s taken to Idaho where she is lucky enough to be taken in by a couple who manage to give her a semblance of a real life and childhood but things are still not easy for her.  When we see her again she’s on her own in an apartment working a crappy job and going to cosmetology school in order to do something with her life.  While I liked her I did find myself struggling with her seeming wishy-washy personality that couldn’t decide if she should be with Puck, without Puck, cut her mom out of her life or keep her mom in her life.  I wanted to yell at times “MAKE YOUR DAMN MIND UP” but I refrained.  I did understand why she behaved that way but I think I could’ve done without some of it.  I did like her strength and it will serve her well as she manages the lifestyle of an old lady.

Puck… bless his kickass ways that get shot all to hell by his weakness for Becca.  He’s definitely dangerous but even as we see this side of him we get to see a man who takes a major risk in breaking her free.  She’s his and once he decides to claim her there is nothing anyone can do to stop it even as she seems to keep one eye on the door.  I loved how under the growly exterior there is a really good guy who just wants to make things right.  He’s not an angel nor is he a traditional good guy but even bad guys can have good hearts.  He means everything he says to her and while they both have moments where they say some truly awful things to one another but even this isn’t a surprise.  Both of them have had a tough time in life and hurt has a tendency to bring out the worst in them.  He is something to behold when he makes his intentions clear which makes it fun to see in action and is HOT… *fans self*

three-half-stars

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Below the Belt – Jeanette Murray – 4 Stars

April 6, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Below the Belt – Jeanette Murray – 4 StarsBelow the Belt by Jeanette Murray
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-04-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Romance, Sports
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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four-stars

FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!

There's more than one way to win in the debut of the First to Fight series...

Athletic trainer Marianne Cook is ready to do whatever it takes to turn the men of the Marine Corps boxing team into fighting machines. After all, her ultimate goal is to land a job training professional athletes. But when she notices a certain hard-bodied marine trying to hide an injury, Marianne realizes that she’ll have to use covert tactics to get him talking.

First Lieutenant Brad Costa has waited years for the chance to fight for a spot on the Marine Corps boxing team, knowing he has to push twice as hard to get half as far as his younger counterparts. Brad tries to downplay his injuries to the attractive trainer who has his dreams in her hands, but Marianne isn’t buying it. Maybe it’s time to deploy some targeted flattery.

As Brad and Marianne’s attraction turns red-hot, there’s more than one person having a hard time keeping their eyes on the prize…

I will admit that I decided to read this book because of its cover and the fact that the blurb didn’t do anything to make me run away from the pretty cover made it easy to go “MINE”.  I ended up with a story I liked quite a bit and a team that I can’t wait to read more about.  The characters are fun and I admit that I’m particularly looking forward to when a certain younger, thinks he’s God’s gift to women, Marine meets his match.  *snicker*

In this story we get to meet a man who is driven to be on the Marine’s boxing team because of a desire to honor his father’s memory.  He’s always wanted this chance but when he injures himself early in the tryout process he’s struggling between what is right and what he needs to do to not be kicked out of the tryouts.  He’s aloof and grumpy but absolutely shocked at his reaction to the team trainer.  He doesn’t want to want her nor does he want the distraction of a relationship but he just can’t resist the way she calls to him.  I enjoyed seeing him struggle with his attraction to her but my favorite part was seeing him start to let people in.  He’s someone to admire other than his secret but I could understand why he took so long to finally admit what was happening to him although I wish he hadn’t gone about it the way he did.  His gesture at the end was funny to read but you knew it came from his heart.  Brad is such a good guy to his core he just needed to see it and understand that while he could be focused on making the team the key is… TEAM.

Our heroine has her own issues with wanting to be seen as the trainer not a woman.  When Brad starts to mess with her preconceived notions of what she wants moving forward she’s resistant.  I enjoyed watching her struggle but also appreciated her willingness to see where they went.  I did get frustrated a bit with her seeing the worst in some situations even as I understood where she was coming from.  She’s strong but is willing to see the other side once she stops to think about it.  I liked how she really just wanted him to open up to her but allowed him to deflect her at times.  I enjoyed seeing her admit to her mom that she had someone but mainly loved seeing her blossom in to her own as she became more comfortable with her job and her relationship with a man who adores her.

Both characters had a lot of waking up to do during this story and needed to accept who they were in order to make a future.  The way Ms. Murray weaves their story was a lot of fun to read and seeing how the rest of the characters interact makes me ready for more from this team.  I look forward to seeing more of the coaches and our pair from this story as the others in the team meet their match!

 

four-stars

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Moment of Truth – Karen Stivali – 4.5 stars

March 9, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Moment of Truth – Karen Stivali – 4.5 starsMoment of Truth by Karen Stivali
Published by Dreamspinner Press on 2015-03-04
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 113
Source: the Author
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four-half-stars

Moments in Time: Book Two

Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he's living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being "out" takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

I have to start with the fact that I really tend to enjoy everything Karen Stivali writes and have enjoyed getting to spend time with her in person at a couple of conventions.  I am also looking forward to seeing her in Dallas this year and getting to congratulate her for this wonderfully honest series.  Collin and Tanner do not have an easy road ahead of them but we get to see more of how they really feel about one another without having to hide who they are to one another.  I look forward to the next story in the series but let’s chat about this one first…

We get to see the boys in a wonderful environment where there is no judgment about being gay and they can finally be open in their affection for one another.  I adored seeing Collin start to come out of his shell and be open with his feelings even as he struggles with the loss of his family.  The way that we get to see his struggle with who he is and what he wants is heartbreaking but very honest as not everyone going thru this struggle has a great support system.  His struggle makes it difficult for Tanner to know exactly how he stands with Collin but Tanner is very patient with this and understands.  They do have some conflict but the conflict is handled well and is completely understandable when it comes.

There is also a side story with a woman from Tanner’s father’s past and someone extremely close to our boys…  I am going to be honest here and say that I hope this person realizes the major mistake they’ve made sooner rather than later as to lose someone that truly is a friend is a very sad price to pay for someone that doesn’t deserve it.  I do admit that it would’ve been nice for something to have been said earlier in the summer but I did understand why they kept their suspicions to themselves even as I wanted them to spill the secret.

If you want to see a story that builds at a realistic pace and that also shows how much pain being narrow-minded can cause someone who doesn’t fit the “traditional” mold then please read this.  It is a struggle too many people go thru in the world where in some places being gay can be a death penalty.  I have enjoyed watching their relationship build and look forward to seeing what happens when they get back to school.

four-half-stars

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Last Breath – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 stars

March 4, 2015 Berkley Trade 0

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Last Breath – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 starsLast Breath by Jessica ClareJen Frederick
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-03-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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five-stars

From the bestselling authors of Last Hit comes the next in the steamy series that explores the exquisite power of our darkest passions . . .

Regan: I never really knew what misery was until the day I was kidnapped and sold for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two months later, I’m at a brothel in Rio when I meet Daniel Hays. He says he’s here to save me, but can I trust him? All I know of him are his sarcastic retorts and his tendency to solve every dispute with his gun. He’s also the only safe thing in my world, and I know it’s wrong to fall in love with him, but I can’t seem to help myself. He says he’ll protect me until his last breath, but I don’t know if I should believe him or even if I can.

Daniel: For the last eighteen months, one goal has dictated every action I’ve taken. I’ve left the Army, turned paid hit man, and befriended criminals all across the globe to find my kidnapped sister. In every brothel I raid and every human trafficking truck I stop, I hope the next face I find is my sister’s. In a hidden brothel in Rio, I find Regan Porter, bruised but not broken, and still sane despite her weeks in captivity. I should leave her behind or send her home, because the last thing either of us needs right now is to get involved. But with every passing minute, I find I’m less able to let her go.

MATURE AUDIENCE

I put the content warning up for this one because it has a very brutal start but damn if it isn’t worth every second of reading.  I loved Nikolai but Daniel is nothing to sneer at and his heroine Regan is definitely his match.

We met Regan in Last Hit as our sweet heroine’s nice yet more worldly roommate who gets the raw end of the deal when they are kidnapped and because she is an extra she is sold in to the sex trade.  Regan does what she needs to in order to survive but she doesn’t make it easy for the men who come to see an American cry and snivel.  She’s using every trick she can think of to check out while things are being done to her but she may be almost to her breaking point by the time a man comes to purchase her for his private use.  What she gets is a man determined to get her out of the situation and get her back to people in the states that have been looking for her.  I loved how she was so ready to fight but also was smart enough to bide her time for the correct opening.  I also loved how she worked so hard to keep it together when most would’ve given up and settled in to die.  She’s a fighter and as she spends more time around her rescuer we get to see that she isn’t completely healed but on her way to a life that will be perfect for the woman she has become.  Regan is a survivor in many ways but I loved seeing her open up to Daniel as time passes.  She deserves every bit of happiness that she gets and he will be the man who makes sure she wants for nothing.

Daniel was a character I enjoyed in our brief glimpses of him in Nikolai’s book but this story showed how much depth he really has.  He’s been searching for his sister who was kidnapped and believed sold in to the sex trade with some thinking she’s already dead.  Daniel will not believe it so has in many respects sold his soul to the devil in order to get news about women matching his sister’s description in the underground sex trade.  He’s rescued a few from slavery but still hasn’t found her.  He’s agreed to do the dirty work of getting Regan back with the hopes that this will also lead him to his sister and with the Bratva needing a line on a hacker.  He soon finds that not only is there more to Regan’s kidnapping than they expected but this strong woman is someone that he can’t live without even as he won’t hold her to anything.  He was amazingly patient with her and protective of her but in a way that felt natural and not smothering.  He just wants her happy and whole but doesn’t expect her to want him even as he craves her.

This story is not for the faint of heart but was very compelling and kept me cheering for Regan as she reclaims herself and also for Daniel as he gets the answers that his entire family needs to heal.  I’m gladly going to keep up with this series as they continue to release….

five-stars

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The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – Contest

March 3, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 2

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – ContestThe List by Anne Calhoun
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-03-03
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
The List (An Irresistible Novel)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9B7CCS" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Who’s on top?

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Ok bear with me for a few…  This isn’t an easy book to read or review in some respects.  You need to be patient as you read this as you might be tempted to dislike the heroine but give her a chance.  She’s who she is because of where she came from and what she had to deal with growing up.  I found myself understanding her in many ways because I could see myself in her ways of protecting herself from what she sees as a fundamental flaw within herself.  The hero is someone you will not have any issues with as he is definitely swoonworthy in his devotion to the woman who captivated him from the start.

Let’s start with what I adore about Daniel:

  • His devotion to the heroine even as she tries to drive him away
  • His understanding that it isn’t him at issue but something within her
  • His devotion to his family
  • His acceptance that they are two distinct people and should be free to have their own pursuits
  • His message on the first day *you won’t see it until the end but dear lord*
  • His way of getting her to start seeing him *admittedly loved how sneaky and dirty he was*
  • His naughty as hell side *fans self*

Now let’s see what caused me to like Matilda *Tilda*:

  • Her knowledge that Daniel isn’t at fault
  • Her acceptance that she wants him even as she fears hurting him
  • Her soft heart hidden under the ice that she wears so well
  • Her ability to see what people need even as she won’t see her own needs
  • Her ability to spot something special in things that she herself doesn’t understand but craves with all her being
  • Her love for her grandmother
  • Her wilder impulsive side that is there just waiting for someone to see it and encourage it
  • Her true nature that just needs someone to truly accept her and love her

Now…  the two people who I wish would fall off the face of the earth for what they did to a younger Matilda that made her in to the seemingly cold woman who believes something is wrong with her…  well I am not going to give them away here but trust that you will want to put them in a special spot in hell for what they did to her psyche when she was vulnerable.  This of course also causes Daniel some pain as we see but you’ll love his understanding of what is truly going on and admire how much he was able to let go as much as it hurt him to do so.  This is a man worthy of love and devotion which you’ll see he eventually gets from the one woman who completes him.

 

I adored this story and since the team at Berkeley are so generous…  I have a paperback copy of this one to give away to one lucky commenter.  All you need to do is tell me something about the person(s) that ground you.  We all have someone that has held that place in our heart that we know accepts us as we are…  Mine was my grandfather Sophus who I knew loved me as I was…  Leave a comment by 3/11/15 at 11:59 pm CT for a chance to win the paperback.

four-half-stars

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Quarterback Draw – Jaci Burton – 4.5 stars

February 6, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 2

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Quarterback Draw – Jaci Burton – 4.5 starsQuarterback Draw by Jaci Burton
Published by Penguin on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Playing For Keeps

Grant Cassidy knows how to be a football star—flash that dazzling smile, throw the winning pass, get the girl. But while the hot quarterback loves the game and the lifestyle, no woman has come close to catching his heart. Then he matches wits with a smart, gorgeous model, and Grant finds himself wanting more than a fling.

Supermodel Katrina Koslova might live in a world of glitz and camera flashes, but she works hard to provide for the family that relies on her. She doesn’t have time for fun—much less a boyfriend—but Grant seems determined to be the exception to Katrina’s rule.

Their explosive chemistry is undeniable, but Katrina’s afraid to let go and rely on anyone but herself. Grant intends to ease her fears and prove he’s a man of style and substance.

Ummmmm I can’t say enough about the covers for this series…  talk about needing a towel to wipe up the drool but the story in this one was lovely.

We have two people who aren’t really looking for the ONE but find it when they get paired up at a swimsuit shoot.   Grant comes in to the photoshoot thinking let’s get this over with so I can head back and relax before the football season starts.  He isn’t overly fond of these shoots but they do pay well and he is smart enough to know that football doesn’t last forever.  PR is SOOOO not his thing but hey stuck in a tropical paradise isn’t a bad way to earn some dollars but he is surprised by a connection he feels with Katrina and even more surprised by how much he wants to get to know her better.  I mean he can have any woman he wants but there is something about her that causes him to want to pursue her.  He doesn’t get very far because the one thing Katrina does well is focus and ignore men vying for her attentions.

Katrina is used to doing everything with extreme control.  She has had to raise her younger siblings from an early age and her focus is on keeping the modeling career going in order to provide for them.  She has no time or desire to pursue a relationship or to be honest even have fun.  Her life revolves around her siblings and nothing will take her focus from that.  When she meets Grant she’s struck by their chemistry and the fact that she wants…  simple as that… she wants….  This is not something she is comfortable with and it leads to tension between them as Grant works hard to get her to let him in.

I liked both of their focus on family and that it means everything to both of them.  The romance between the pair builds nicely and has moments where the issues seem a bit too difficult to get over but I loved how compromise and valuing each other ended up being central to it working.  Grant does sort of walk all over barriers to get to Katrina but it was meant well and honestly was what she needed in order to really embrace living for herself and not just wrapped up with her siblings.

Her siblings were priceless and good kids so I loved their part in helping her realize that they would be ok with Katrina having a life….

Now for the fun stuff… I can’t believe I’m going to do this but I must get better about letting paper copies go so…  If you’d like to win my finished review copy of this title…  What sport do you find you love most?  One commenter will be lucky enough to win as long as they’ve entered by 11:59 pm US Central Time on Feb 11, 2015.

four-half-stars

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Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 stars

February 5, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 starsLast Hit by Jessica ClareJen Frederick
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

From two bestselling authors—the first in a deliciously bold new series that takes readers to the most dangerous edge of desire . . .

Nikolai: I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all spoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small, scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy: I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Home-schooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best about people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man who has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk . . . and also, my life.

*hangs head in shame* Yes I know Mel..  I know..  bad Stephanie for not reading this earlier…  I’m just a bad, bad girl…  *snickers*

Anyway I have to say I am mad at myself for not deciding to pick this up earlier but I am glad I finally read it because man oh man is Nikolai something else.  There is not a lot of sexy times in this book but you know what…  IT DOESN’T NEED IT!  There is so much tension in this book that you won’t miss the main event and will be happy when these two finally have that moment.  This book is more about two on the surface different people that really are the perfect match.  We have sweet, virginal (yes… VIRGINal) Daisy, who is so naive and overwhelmed by life in the real world, and Nikolai, who is  jaded and in his eyes filthy not fit for anything good.

The journey these characters take is one of discovering your worth, your heart and finally living free from the tethers of your past.  I adored seeing Nikolai struggle with small talk and how to court Daisy.  He’s so used to just having sex as a form of stress release and it meaning nothing than a way to take the edge off that trying to woo someone is just a foreign concept to him.  This is a man who has no friends but has only existed to kill and earn money.  He has a heartrending past and watching him finally become fully human was beautiful.

Daisy is fully human but has spent her life being isolated from the outside world by a man who was battling his own demons.  I loved her enthusiasm about even the tiniest things and appreciated that she didn’t hate her father but wanted to do nothing more than help him.  Her guilt where he was concerned is honest and raw which I appreciated.  I also liked that she understands how naive she is but doesn’t use it to throw up her hands and quit.  She’s stubborn and strong which shows as things come to light.  Her ability to see Nikolai as a human being is tested but thankfully she sees thru to his core personality even as she feels betrayed.

I personally cannot wait for Daniel and Reagan’s story to unfold next plus look forward to seeing more of Nikolai/Daisy in later stories.  If you are looking for a book that is more about tension and building a relationship even if it is shrouded in lies then this one is for you.

 

five-stars

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The Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – Contest

January 29, 2015 Berkley Trade, Contest, Read in 2015, Sent 4

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – ContestThe Distraction by Sierra Kincade
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
The Distraction (The Body Work Trilogy Book 2)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9AXY7G" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The seductive story that started in The Masseuse continues...

Anna Rossi knows that opening your heart only gets you hurt. But Alec Flynn is just too good to resist…

It’s been three long months since Anna’s seen Alec, since he saved her life and lit up her soul with unquenchable desire. Being without him has left her on edge, but his bravery has motivated her to change her life and go after what she’s always wanted—a job where she can help people. She can’t wait to show Alec the woman she’s become in his absence, or to prove how much she’s missed him…

Three months away has done nothing to slake Alec’s need for Anna. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made his life any less dangerous. The last thing he wants to do is hurt Anna, but if giving her up is the only way to save her, he’s not sure he can do that either. He’s determined to have her for as long as he can. Except his past is creeping up on him faster than he knows, and this time he may not be able to keep her from becoming collateral damage…

I just can’t give up on this story even as things in the relationship between Anna and Alec set off big old warning bells in my head.  She’s obsessed with him so ignores everything and everyone who is concerned about how much pain he has brought to her just by being involved with her.  I get it but at the same time there is something that isn’t healthy about their relationship but circumstances are what is causing a majority of the issues as they can’t spend much needed time getting to know one another outside of their amazing chemistry.

I enjoyed this installment more than the previous one because we did get to see how much they truly need one another outside of the bedroom.  Alec is willing to do so much in order to protect Anna and you can feel how badly this whole mess is hurting him because he knows it is killing her.  He’s growly and protective but I did get a bit fed up with his inability to just lay his cards out on the table in the name of protecting her.  Honesty is something they both desperately need but both of them keep so much from one another that it causes conflict every single time it is revealed.  I got why he did it..  I honestly did but at some point I would hope that he would just realize that it always comes out in the worst way possible.

Anna is stronger in this story than the previous one and I appreciated that immensely.  I liked the spine we got to see as she stands up for herself in most ways and definitely does so in the end.  I look forward to seeing more of this side of her develop and hope that the conclusion will keep her spine stiff enough to not settle for anything less than she deserves.  Her willingness to see the good in people is severely tested in this story and my hope is she will still be open to people but a bit more open to listening to her inner self when something isn’t quite right with the facade presented to her.

Overall I enjoyed this one and hope that we not only get the final resolution for Anna/Alec but also get to see Amy happy with ummmm well read this one and you’ll see who I hope she can find happiness with.  She and her daughter deserve happiness and I’d love to see it with XXX…. *snicker*

 

So I’m going to start something new with this review…  In this case my review copy was a paper copy provided by the wonderful people at Penguin/Berkeley Publishing and I am running out of space to keep every single copy of a book that I get no matter how much I love them so…  You get to start winning some of them…  YAY!!!  In this case to win my copy of this book comment below by Wednesday, February 4 at 11:59 pm US Central with something you’ve done in the name of love/lust/extreme like that isn’t something you would normally even consider doing….  

four-stars

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